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Reviews Categories | Packet TNCs | SCS PTC-II Help

Reviews Summary for SCS PTC-II
SCS PTC-II Reviews: 16 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $950.00
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N0PQK Rating: 2/5 Sep 21, 2014 22:13 Send this review to a friend
No modern software  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This review covers the SCS PTC-IIUSB (With the Pactor 3 License)

If you intend to use this ONLY with Winlink 2000 then you will be fine. If you intend to purchase ANY of the SCS modems for keyboard to keyboard chatting, or getting on Robust Packet BBS's, or using it on traditional Packet then you will be surely disappointed.

No one makes makes a modern user friendly terminal / program to use with the unit. Those programs that exist are written in German and have not been supported since 2008.

For me I have been using Putty (Which is a FREE terminal program) but that servery limits its usefulness.

N5IKG Rating: 5/5 Sep 24, 2011 20:49 Send this review to a friend
The best  Time owned: more than 12 months
My use of the SCS has been intermittent but with support from Gary have used Airmail from time to time with success. Thanks to a recent Winlink webinar took another look at another Pactor modes,RMS express, it is great,simple even for me, with quick connections despite the conditions. Next project is to figure out the software for the packet module. Still have to figure out pt to pt when I have time. Since I am technically challenged my ability to use Airmail and RMS express mode is a testament to SCS quality and the Winlink programmers, not me.
AC5XP Rating: 5/5 Aug 18, 2011 11:21 Send this review to a friend
The best HF radio modem there is  Time owned: more than 12 months
When it comes to weak signals, nothing comes even close to Pactor-II and Pactor-III. I have the SCS-PTCIIpro and it is the best TNC I have ever owned. Sure; it's not the cheapest but you want the best, you gotta pay for it. It's that simple.

This TNC is giving throughput when there seems to be ZERO propagation in the HF channel. It keeps the link when you absolutely do not recognize a signal coming from the speaker. Numerous times I have initiated a link to a HF Winlink node where I thouht: "too bad - Conditions do not allow a link today". To be astonished immediately thereafter, to see the PTC confirming an actual link - where there is nothing but noise being heard from the radio speaker! This box literally performs magic, it does things that seem to go against all laws of physics. An excellent job from the German SCS guys.

People often ask me - Why buy an SCS modem when we now have Winmor? Well, I have both capabilities installed in the shack here - And Winmor does not even come CLOSE when it comes to weak signal performance.
To be fair to the Winmor development team, they have created the best that is humanly possible given the limitations of a sound card and Windows unpredictable timing, which makes highly synchronous ARQ (like the SCS-PTCII does) impossible. Synchronous ARQ can only be done with dedicated TNC hardware (or by running a real-time operating system on your PC). The weak spot in Winmor is therefore the fact that the receiving station needs to re-synchronize on every individually received data packet, which is a severe penalty in the required S/N ratio for the system to function in very poor band conditions.

But I'm getting of track here. SCS-PTCII modems - the best there is. No question about it. I also have professional experience with military Stanag HF radio modems (the Harris modems), and I tell you - those Germans put our American engineers to shame. There is nothing better in the market today for HF digital communication within a smaller than 2.5 kHz bandwidth than the SCS modems. Plain and simple.

No, I have NO ties to the company whasoever.... All I am is a very satisfied customer.

N6KZB Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2010 17:26 Send this review to a friend
SCS USB & PRO II  Time owned: more than 12 months

Have both models, the USB version which is used with my Icom 7200 for remote email, works as advertised. I do camping in Central Baja, and it allows me to do HF e-mail into the internet via the Winlink system.

Gary Woods at Farallon communications knows his stuff.

I use the PROII model at home with my Icom 756 Pro 3. I have bought SCS products for years.

SCS makes an outstanding data modem, and you do get what you pay for. Will do a lot more than just HF operations.

Bottom line, "Pactor 3, nothing even comes close"..........

Adiso Mike n6kzb (xe2)
K6DTK Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2010 17:11 Send this review to a friend
Worth every penny!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had the SCS PTC-IIex Modem with PACTOR III Mode License for about 9 months. It was purchased from the US authorized distributor, Farallon Electronics.

There are two levels on which I need to comment. First, is the customer support from Farallon. Before I purchased the unit, I contacted Gary Woods, The Farallon Tech guy, and asked every question that I could think of so I would go into this with my eyes wide open. Obviously, satisfied with the answers, I made the purchase and when it arrived, I again called Gary and he took all the time that was necessary to help me set-up both the HF Airmail program and the Telnet program. Farallon customer/tech support is terrific and their rating is a 5 as well.

I use the Airmail program with the SCS Pactor III modem for remote location communication. We were on a 12 day trip recently to very remote parts of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, most of which were well out of cell phone range and any VHF/UHF repeater range. Without exception, the Airmail program, with the Pactor Modem, performed flawlessly. We were not only able to utilize Airmail's email capability anywhere we went, but we were also able to send pictures back home.

The SCS Pactor Modem is exceptionally well made, rugged, and very easy to use. And, it is comforting to know that I will have a reliable means of communication in the event of a disaster.
G4AON Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2008 01:56 Send this review to a friend
Superb  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine is the PTC-IIex version. While it's expensive, it costs only slightly more than much less capable multi-mode terminal units and in real terms it costs no more than multi-modes did a few years ago - and does a lot more. Pactor II and III are amazing modes, links over hundreds of miles running less than a Watt are solid and reliable. On a quiet band Pactor II/III works on signal levels that are inaudible by ear.

PSK31 isn't very good with this modem, but it's designed for Pactor, Amtor and RTTY, which is does brilliantly.

I use Airmail and Alpha v2.2 software, the latter is available as the older free version from at least two web sites and works very well. The semi-duplex mode on Alpha is handy if you are working another similarly equipped station.
K7UXO Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2008 09:06 Send this review to a friend
High performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the PTC-II ex with the Pactor III firmware. I use it for MARS, with Airmail software and Windows XP toughbook laptop. I do not have to set up my sound card levels every time I start my computer, I can use the radio and send/receive messages even if my computer is chewing on another process.

Here is the deal. It is a throughly well through out piece of gear. Professional in every respect. The only thing it doesn't have is MIL connectors, a 1/4 inch cast allunimum case and green paint job. Consider the alternatives for HF email are 10X the price - and this thing does the same job and just as well as Rockwell Collins and Harris.

With good signals, uncompressed speeds of 3200 or 3600 are common. 1400 and 2800 are common on moderate signals. With weak signals, it still will get your messages through. This thing will work even when you cannot hear the signal in the speaker.

ARQ modes are the way to go. You only get print that is correct. This is important for message handling. NO ERRORS.

Even for Pactor I, RTTY, etc, it is outstanding. There is a difference - and you do get what you pay for in performance.
KR4K Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2007 05:49 Send this review to a friend
Worth the Price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the PTC-IIpro with PACTOR III and one VHF board. The MODEM continues to perform exceedingly well. I see the performance enhancement possible with a dedicated hardware MODEM processor/DSP.

I have it hooked to my TS-2000 running with my IBM thinkpad computer. I use WINLINK/Airmail, and I have been recently experimenting with other modes (HF and APRS) available via the ALPHA and TrackOn software modules:

Would like to see someone write software to use the PCTII and MIL-STD-188-110B waveform, MIL-STD-188-141B Appendix C - 3G HF ALE (possibly as a resource in PC-ALE), WinDRM voice, and DRM. Along with PACTOR, modern HF is going that way. The PTCII seems quite capable of these modes.

W6CJ Rating: 4/5 Dec 20, 2006 21:58 Send this review to a friend
PTC-IIex Great for Amateur and MARS Service!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The SCS PTC-IIex is the single-port, multimode sister of the PTC-II.

I've purchased two SCS PTC-IIex TNCs, for a Yaesu FT897D and for a Kenwood TS2000. I have been using this TNC in Amateur and MARS service for several months. Unlike cheap TNCs and hobby-toy sound card interfaces, hookup is simple and a lot of adjustments are not required.

I have used mine in the Winlink/Airmail system and for other modes and purposes. I don't have RF feedback and mike issues as I have had with cheaper TNCs.

I gave a "4" rating, only because I want to see more and better communications software for the SCS TNCs. Some of the bundled communications software is below the professional quality of the SCS TNCs.

I would also like to see more modes included in the SCS family of TNCs, including MT63 and the other soundcard modes. Imagine all of the digital modes and image modes in only one box- no cables to plug/unplug, and you can leave your mike connected!

If you haven't seen Pactor 2 and Pactor 3 in operation, give them a try. They are fast and reliable.

My SCS TNC is going into my deployable Amateur/MARS HF-VHF-UHF multimode station.
N1LF Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2006 10:18 Send this review to a friend
Worth every penny  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
We've all heard the complaints about how expensive the SCS Modems are--and granted, they are not inexpensive...but no high performance piece of amateur equipment is. The SCS PTC-II is worth every penny.

During Katrina, I watched a single HF rig and a SCS PTC-II crank out Winlink E-mail message after message from the Hancock Country EOC in Gulfport, MS. It was invaluable.

That convinced me to bite the bullet and purchase one. Since then, I've used the unit to establish reliable links using HFAirMail even when no signal was audible or visible in the spectrum scope of the Icom 756 Pro III.

Great on other digital modes too, including PSK31, RTTY, etc. Since purchasing the original, I've added a second one for use mobile with my Yaesu FT-857D.

Amazing performance!
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